The past few weeks had been fairly quiet on the game front for Boca Gibraltar, as between our last game which was a thrilling 4-3 win for us against Sporting, we had the Cannons game postponed on the 24th February, Rick was deservedly named February player of the month for his outstanding form, and a big old plane had gone missing too, fingers crossed all works out okay for the MH370 flight!
The game against Britannia itself was grim, not as grim as watching Liverpool making United look like a bunch of 4 year olds on drugs, but it was bad. Some very average refereeing led to a free-kick, a spell of sustained pressure followed in the penalty area and a loose ball was put into the back of the net. Some slack defending from our boys made for an easy chance for the Brits as their striker easily dispatched past the keeper for their 2nd goal. The scorer of the 1st then got his 2nd of the game from the penalty spot as Britannia handed Boca a drubbing by a margin of 3 goals for the 2nd time this season.
The day of the game was upon us and for some people, the thought of missing the City v Barca game that night was unthinkable, not for me because I hate the 2 and hope they all get ingrowing toenails and infections all round. But I digress, the crowd had turned up in their numbers as the teams made their way onto the pitch. Pippo was a late withdrawal late on the day which required the gaffer to change some things round. Eliy was asked to play in goal with Xemi making his full Boca debut from the start. The XI were Eliy, Sam, Xemi, Crofo, Nali, Sols, Karlos, Rick, Bosh, Paul and Kow! Injuries and suspensions had ruled a few players out but this squad was more than capable to get the result we wanted on the night.
The game started fairly steadily as neither team took full control of the game, Britannia looked more assured on the ball but there were no clear cut chances to shout about. That all changed as the Brit’s assurance led to a good passage of play which Xemi had to be on his toes to defend against. He slid in for a challenge in the penalty area, it looked fairly reckless but he won the ball and no damage was done. This trend of Boca defending continued as Britannia split the defence wide open yet again with some good football and their striker spurned a golden chance to give his side the lead. The game was becoming very frustrating to watch for the Boca faithful as the opposition were having all of the play but some comical finishing and some good defending from us was letting the yellow and blues off.
It took until the 35 minute mark for Boca to have an effort at goal, some good link up play between Rick, Bosh, Sam and Kow resulted in a Kow shot saved by their keeper. Finally, there was something for Boca to feel upbeat about. Boca were seeing more of the ball but their options were limited at times, the self-proclaimed player/coach Nali was heard shouting ”no-ones available” at one point which just proved the underlying problem that Boca were enduring. As the game went on, Rick conceded a dubious foul which he was given a yellow for. We, in the stands didn’t have a clue where/why/how/for what the foul was, let alone the appalling decision to give him a yellow. The Boca bench were up in arms and the newly appointed goal-keeping coach was very vociferous in his protests against the decision. It was about to get worse for us as though, the free-kick was pumped up field and after a scramble in the area, the ball fell just outside the area where their centre-back smashed it in to make it 1-0. The GK coach continued his protests and was sent to the stands by the referee who blew the half-time whistle very soon after that decision.
The 2nd half kicked off with unchanged line-ups for both sides, Sols was looking like a man on a mission to shake Boca out of their little stupor by making his presence felt all over the pitch. He soon found himself in the book though as an over-zealous challenge was punished by the ref. The fans were demanding to see more of this commitment and energy levels.
Bosh was then replaced by Seb who declared he was only 80% fit 3 days before the game but the gaffer had enough faith in his fitness to try and rescue the game. The opposition’s number 23 was keen to kick up a fuss and was lucky not to have been sent off after elbowing, kicking out, tripping up, setting on fire and stabbing our lads (maybe I made the last 2 up but the guy was relentless in his pursuit of disfiguring our pin up poster-boys), luckily for him the referee was keen to put in a very average performance and only showed him a yellow after his 15th foul. Sols was replaced soon after to save him from getting sent off with Sean coming on to take his place.
Boca’s lackadaisical performance continued and a piece of very lazy defending was punished by them lot. The player on the ball was on the right side of the box, he turned inside and skinned Crofo and fired a shot past Alvarez into the near post. The game was well and truly beyond all doubt after that strike went in. The game slipped well and truly out of reach 7 minutes later as their striker beat the offside trap and ran through for a 1 on 1 with Eliy. Xemi – the last defender – tracked back and fouled the player well outside the box as he ran down on goal. The referee, as I mentioned earlier, was determined to get his name in the headlines for the wrong reasons, pointed to the spot despite the foul being committed closer to the airport runway than the penalty area. Worse was to follow though as the offender was let off and Crofo was given a yellow for running back to his position and watching the foul from 10 yards away! Baffling, absolutely baffling!
The resulting penalty had to be taken twice due to encroachment but the pressure didn’t phase the scorer of the 1st goal who killed the game off with Britannia’s 3rd goal of the game. Some upset fans took the decision to beat the traffic and leave with the score-line at 3-0, clearly disheartened with the performance. Karlos was unhappy with how the game was unfolding and slid in with another rough tackle and got cautioned for it too. ”The ref’s lost control” was the shout from the fans who stayed in the stands. With the game gone, Karlos was taken off for Nyall to save him from a red card. Nyall had a rare Boca effort on goal straight into the keeper’s hands, from a long-range free-kick, he was definitely trying this with his left foot but the keeper was up to it.
The official tweeter-er (is that even a word?) had stopped for a bit with his live updates as he didn’t feel upto reporting about the state of the game. The full-time whistle was highly-anticipated from the ‘Bocarones’ who were clearly distraught at what had unfolded before their very eyes in the last 2 hours. The Man of the Match sponsored by a ‘handshake/fist pump with a fan of your choice’ was given to Kow who was very up for the game and ran his heart out for the Boca cause. Normally I’d mention the futsal thing here but I’ve said it enough times now I think.
So anyways, a tough pill to swallow, another Derby defeat for the lads and an automatic promotion place seems further away than ever. Our next game is our first game is in the Division 2 Cup, its the 1/4 final against Mons Calpe and a game the lads must win if they want to end the season with a trophy, and more importantly, have a piss-up in Champs with the £200 quid that was promised by 2-time fan of the year. Kick off is on the 18th March at 20:00, hope to see you all there!
ALL VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE FROM FANS AND DO NOT REPRESENT THE VIEWS FROM MEMBERS OF FC BOCA GIBRALTAR IN ANY WAY.